JANUARY 2009 LIWi FOUR DOLLARS ■ -V m u r 11 v, VSsA -^ / ' y. I i m «%• -■'%' ; ; k. • HI 1 ^K *4 Bob Duncan January ushers in Governor Kaine's "Year of the Envi- w ronment," a time to re-focus attention and commitment to all that naturally sustains us. Accordingly state employees are recalibrating the way we do business and considering new ways to engage Virginians in environmental stewardship. We know that wildlife management involves both opportunities and costs. Our depart- ment seeks opportunities to restore and maintain healthy populations of animals that provide untold recreational benefits to people. Doing so takes money, of course, and as more conflicts arise be- tween people and animals spilling into each other's territory, those costs will in- crease. The governor's 2009 challenge pres- ents an opportune time to "tee up" our discussion about climate change. How we respond to it is of critical importance and being addressed by the state's brightest minds from varied disciplines, who sit on the Governor's Commission on Climate Change. We will periodically feature related stories and editorials over the coming months. We understand that warming tem- peratures, rising sea level, and the loss of flora will affect all wild animals and their habitats, especially those most vulnera- ble living in aquatic zones. The first and greatest losses will occur at either end of the elevation spectrum — within the in- undated wetlands of Virginia's coast and the stressed spruce and fir forests of the Allegheny Highlands. As we look down the road, then, it is with renewed appreciation for the gov- ernor's 400,000-acre land conservation goal. To Virginia's wildlife, an accommodating landscape will become more necessary than ever before. We've been covering stories about Vir- ginians taking measures to protect important wildlife travel corridors, forestland, edge habitats and riparian zones, and other land values they hold dear by using the tool of a conservation ease- ment. We will continue to do so. Internally, we've implemented new programs that respond directly to Vir- ginia's Energy Plan (www.governor.vir- ginia.gov / TempContent / 2007_VA_En- ergy_Plan-Full_Document.pdf): exam- ining ways to make our Richmond office complex more energy efficient; methodi- cally converting our fleet to more fuel ef- ficient vehicles; and encouraging car- pooling and smart driving practices among our employees. We've launched a fishing line recycling effort and placed collection canisters for recycling spent ammunition throughout our manage- ment areas. These actions big and small will reduce our collective drain on the natural resource base and, at the same time, save money. The natural challenges we face are great, but I remain optimistic that by bringing the best science to bear, we will prepare for the adaptations necessary. Our staff is accustomed to working in the realm of the physical world, where processes are dynamic and change is in- evitable. We will continue to marshal the best of our people resources and energies in order to advise you about the changes we witness in the field, and to galvanize your continued support for the fish and wildlife of Virginia. Mission Statement To manage Virginia's wildlife and inland fish to maintain optimum populations of all speeies to serve the needs of the Commonwealth; To provide opportunity for all to enjoy wildlife, inland fish, boating and related outdoor recreation and to work diligently to safeguard the rights of the people to hunt, fish and harvest game as provided for in the Constitution of Virginia; To promote safely for persons and prop- erty in connection with boating, hunting and fishing; To provide educational outreach programs and materials that foster an awareness of and appreciation for Virginia's fish and wildlife resources, their habitats, and hunting, fishing, and boating opportunities. Dedicated to the Conservation of Virginia's Wildlife and Natural Resources VOLUME 70 NUMBER 1 Commonwealth of Virginia Timothy M. Kaine, Governor L HUNTING & FISHING S^t ICENSEFEED Subsidized this publication Secretary of Natural Resources L. Preston Bryant, Jr. Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Bob Duncan Executive Director Members of the Board Ward Burton, Halifax Sherry Smith Crumley, Buchanan William T. Greer, Jr., Norfolk James W. Hazel, Oakton C. T. Hill, Midlothian Randy J. Kozuch, Alexandria John W. Montgomery, Jr., Sandston Mary Louisa Pollard, Irvington Richard E. Railey, Courtland Thomas A. Stroup, Fairfax Charles S. Yates, Cleveland Magazine Staff Sally Mills, Editor Lee Walker, Ron Messina, Julia Dixon, Contributing Editors Emily Pels, Art Director Carol Kushlak, Production Manager Marc Puckett, Staff Contributor Color separations and printing by Progress Printing, Lynchburg, VA. Virginia Wildlife (ISSN 0042 6792) is published month ly by the Virginia Department of Game and Inlani Fisheries. Send all subscription orders and addres changes to Virginia Wildlife, P. O. Box 7477, Red OaV Iowa 51591-0477. Address all other communication concerning this publication to Virginia Wildlife, P. C Box 11104, 4010 West Broad Street, Richmond Virginia 23230-1104. Subscription rates are $12.95 fo one year, $23.95 for two years; $4.00 per each bac issue, subject to availability. Out-of-country rate i $24.95 for one year and must be paid in U.S. fund: No refunds for amounts less than $5.00. To sub scribe, call toll-free (800) 710-9369. Postmastei Please send all address changes to Virginia Wildlift P.O. Box 7477, Red Oak, Iowa 51591-0477. Postage fo periodicals paid at Richmond, Virginia and additior al entry offices. Copyright 2009 by the Virginia Department of Gam and Inland Fisheries. All rights reserved. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries sha afford to all persons an equal access to Departmei programs and facilities without regard to race, colo religion, national origin, disability, sex, or age. If yo believe that vou have been discriminated against i any program, activity or facility, please write t< Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisherie: ATTN: Compliance Officer, (4010 West Broad Street P.O. Box 11104, Richmond, Virginia 23230-1104. "This publication is intended for general informatior al purposes only and every effort has been made t ensure its accuracy. The information contained herei does not serve as a legal representation of fish an wildlife laws or regulations. The Virginia Departmei of Game and Inland Fisheries does not assum responsibility for any change in dates, regulations, c information that may occur after publication." f\ Mixed Sources FSC .ONTENTS Wffc*^ ^ rV *£J£sSM ft '"a*.* *■ r?v^:.^. . About the cover: A large rodent, the muskrat (Ondatra zibethi- cus) flourishes in rivers across the state where floating plants, tubers, and small crustaceans are plentiful. Muskrats were trapped routine- ly into the 1 980s and harvested for their fur. See related story on page 14. ©F. Eugene Hester Magazine Subscriptions For subscriptions, circulation problems and address changes call 1-800-710-9369 12 issues for $12.95 24 issues for $23.95 36 issues for $29.95 Engraving Their Niche by Clarke C. Jones Seeing is believing and appreciating it even more. Where Eagles Soar by Glenda C. Booth Join us on a journey through a Fairfax County oasis. Heyday Trapping Tales by Marc Puckett This story will make you nostalgic for simpler times. Be Wild! Live Wild! Grow Wild! by Spike Knuth Winter Nomads. The Path to Stewardship by Gail Brown Eureka Elementary School students blaze a new path. The Sporting Life of Carol Lueder by Beth Hester One entrepreneur proves that customer service has not disappeared. Journal A Duck Hunter's Journal Dining In Hearty Venison Pot Roast Photo Tips Fishing With Your Digital Camera Talking Stick ^^L^0*0*^* kS& ■JBB1 5^1 "^C^^BI -\f~l -'jljra ^•^y^^^^^U ■- AA^£i ^»«a ^^^—**^^^^3 ^y o . r r JKaster enaraoers across tne state toucn hoes far from nome. story by Clarke C. Jones photos by Dwight Dyke ( ^T or the beginning artist, it ^* would be like standing be- K^S side Norman Rockwell while he painted ... for a novice writer, like hovering over Heming- way's typewriter as words magically formed on a page. That is the closest I can describe the feeling I experienced while watching Lisa Tomlin engrave the hair on the back of an elephant — an elephant which serves as the focal point on the receiver of a shotgun. Her work is that detailed, that exact- ing. raoin Many high-end gun manufactur- ers, whose business it is "to know," consider Lisa Tomlin to be one of the top engravers in the world. You would think that someone with that much talent would be easy to find. She is not. You might say it was di- vine intervention that led me to her. Dr. Raymond Spence, an avid sports- man and former defensive end for the Louisiana State University Tigers, retired in 2007 after 45 years as the pastor of Second Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia. In tribute to his years of service, he was given a retire- ment gift by his congregation: a spe- cial gift, a one-of-a-kind Parker Brothers shotgun engraved by Lisa Tomlin. Knowing how much I would appreciate such a work of art, he kindly invited me to see it. It is not often a man is given a gift which bestows on him such extreme emotions: pride in the fact that he VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com now possesses a true treasure, en- hanced by a true artist, and humility, kindled by the love and admiration of his congregation who presented him with such a thoughtful token of appreciation. Engraved on Dr. Spence's 20 gauge Parker A-l Special shotgun were his two favorite bird dogs, his dead-rise fishing boat, and his church, along with the initials LSU on the trigger guard. Outside of his dear wife of nearly 50 years and his two sons, Lisa Tomlin had captured the very essence of the man and what he loves. One cannot help but marvel at the detail of Lisa's work on Dr. Spence's Parker. Lisa even added the shade from a standing oak tree as it cast its shadow on the right side of Second Baptist Church, as well as the links in the chain fence in front of the building. W yiiciii e Above: Lisa Tomlin transfers art to the metal to begin the engraving process. Her engravings capture the spirit of the hunter in a personal way. Bottom left: Art nouveau has been engraved on a Winchester Model 53 for a collector in Idaho. While admiring the engraving on Dr. Spence's gun, he informed me that Ms. Tomlin had also engraved guns presented to former President George H. W. Bush, General Norman Schwarzkopf, and General Chuck Yeager. My first thought was, "Who in a Richmond Baptist church knows world-class engravers, and in what city across the globe does she live?" Then Dr. Spence informed me that Lisa Tomlin hails from the small ham- let of Evington, Virginia, just south of Lynchburg. In the early 1980s, Ken Hurst, who at the time was a master en- graver for Colt, owned an engraving production company out of Concord, Virginia. Hurst's company not only engraved knives and guns, but also performed commemorative work for Quail Unlimited and Ducks Unlimit- ed, among others. Engraver Jack Jones, Jr. of Forest, Virginia, who JANUARY 2009 Jack Jones, Jr. inspects a Colt Single Action .45 caliber revolver that he has engraved. worked for Hurst, stated, "The Lynchburg area, at that time, had more engravers per capita in the world, with the exception of Italy." Jack, who books his business mostly by word of mouth, has cus- tomers all over the world. He has just finished engraving a Scottish fami- ly's castle on a Ruger 30.06. When Ken Hurst closed his production fa- cility, a number of Virginia engravers such as Jones, Tomlin, George, and Davidson went out on their own. Tim George of Altavista, Vir- ginia, specializes in knife engraving and may complete only one gun a year. George feels that artwork on guns is usually limited to the tradi- tional. "With knives, I can do Deco or Nouveau styles. I have been able over the years to develop my own style of scroll work, and I am proud that my customers recognize it as being particular to me. Engraving guns, to me, is like writing a novel. Engraving knives is like writing po- etry." Tim must be quite a poet, be- cause there is often a two-year wait- ing period for his knife work. Tim who also teaches engraving, says his work does not seem to be af- fected by the economy. "It is one of the few things we are exporting. American engravers are known throughout the world." For those who would like to work at home, it may be the kind of profession one is looking for. "If you are artistic and can sit for 40 hours a week, you can be an engraver," said George. Jere Davidson, another engraver from the Lynchburg area, engraves for Dakota Arms and also, Connecti- cut Shotgun Mfg. His biggest fan, however, may be Edmund Davidson (no relation) of Goshen, Virginia, and one of the premier knife makers in the state. You can find Edmund's knife work and Jere's engraving in the book, The Art of the Integral Knife. "I have used Jere as my engraver for 18 consecutive years," said Ed- mund. "My knife work is just anoth- er form of art. It is 'art with an edge.' I have a number of collectors in Vir- ginia, but I ship knives all over the world. I chose Jere to do my engrav- ing because he is totally, and always, creative. To me, Jere's engraving 'flows' and it works extremely well with my art. He has never done a knife for me that was the same pat- tern." VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com In the early 1990s, Lisa Tomlin was "discovered." Lisa's talent for drawing got no- ticed, and it was then recommended she put that talent to use as an en- graver. "I went to Ken and asked him for a job. He said he wasn't hiring anyone at that time, but he gave me a piece of paper the size of a quarter and asked me to draw an elk on that paper. After he saw my drawing, he hired me," Tomlin related. Working on a piece of steel or gold which will be part of a high-end product requires focus and great at- tention to detail. There is little room for error. "I learned using the hammer- and-chisel method, the way the Ital- ians engraved many centuries ago. With a hammer and chisel, the en- graver has to be very careful that the chisel does not slip. It is one of the hardest things an engraver has to learn when using that method. I bet I had to make one thousand commas be- fore Ken would let me work on a real engraving," Lisa emphasized. Tomlin is aware of the newer tools used for engraving and ex- plained, "Some engravers today use an air tool called a Graver Max and I may use it on rare occasions for a background, but I still prefer the hammer-and-chisel method. It just works better for me, and I believe it makes my work more personable." Lisa also makes her own engraving tools. It was around this time that John Bolliger, well-known custom gun maker and founder of Mountain Ri- flery was looking for someone to do a Tim George sets up to engrave a Warren Osborne knife. He will engrave the bolsters, part of the knife handle on both sides of the jade, shown below. special project — the annual auction gun for Safari Club International. A bull elephant was to be engraved on a bolt action rifle as the last animal en- graved in a collection of guns titled, the "Most Dangerous Game Series." At auction, the gun brought $165,000. Bolliger described the impor- tance of an engraver this way: "Al- though our guns are artwork, they are designed to be used. Some will hunt with them. Some want them as a display. Our market is the top two to three percent of those individuals buying guns. We just supplied a gun to the King of Spain. That is why the skill of an engraver is so important. I have built guns whose value was di- minished by a poor engraver and whose value was enhanced by a skilled engraver." Bolliger's compa- ny at this writing, holds the world record for the most money paid for an American-made rifle. JANUARY 2009 Here (and shown below) Jere Davidson engraves a red stag on a Dakota Arms Model 76 rifle. Another custom gun manufac- turer, the John Rigby Company from California, was commissioned to build a gun which would be a gift to former President George Bush. Lisa Tomlin was hired to engrave that gun. Geoff Miller, managing director at the company, feels that an en- graver must be able to do at least four things well. "Their artwork must fit exactly and correctly on the piece that is to be engraved. They must be ex- cellent at producing a believable game scene. They must be able to do scroll work. And finally, they must be able to do the lettering. Lisa can do all four, and do all four extremely well. I think if Lisa is not the top engraver in the world at this moment, she is defi- nitely in the topi three." Because of the time it takes to en- grave a shotgun well, Lisa can pro- duce maybe five guns a year, and be- cause of the demand for her work, the value of her engraving increases 15-20% each year. As Miller put it, "Let's say she keeps engraving for another twenty years. That is only one hundred guns. Her work, to the collector of fine guns, will be as fa- mous as a Picasso." The engraving that these indi- viduals do is truly art. It should not be confused with what we call en- graving when we go to the local mall to have our initials scratched into a Jefferson Cup. Nor is it a mass-pro- duced, computer engraved plate which is added to a mass-produced gun or knife you find at your local sporting goods store. No, this is an original. It may take weeks or months to complete. And just like any fine art, it builds its own cadre of worldwide collectors who are will- ing to wait years just to have a mas- terpiece created by these select en- gravers. It is hard sometimes to com- prehend, while watching these artists sitting hunched over a table wearing huge Opti- Visor goggle-like glasses, that they delicately hammer and chisel something as fine as the hair of an elephant on metal no larger than a fifty-cent piece. Lisa Tomlin probably speaks for all engravers across the state when she said, "I believe my engraving ability is God-given. I am passionate about the detail of my engraving and the accuracy of the animals in the en- graving." Maybe that is what people see in their art. Maybe that is why presidents and kings wait patiently for their work. There is nothing like having a God-given gift and being passionate about it! D Clarke C. Jones spends his spare time with liis black Labrador retriever, Luke, hunting up good stories. You can visit Clarke and Luke on their Web site at www.clarkecjones.com. VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com Where 'US S<MT \ /. v. ,. \ -:% 1 >*lS* '/- ^*i^. .") Bald eagles find safe haven at Mason Neck, just beyond the nation's capital. by GlendaC. Booth rhe 50 bald eagles that win- ter on Fairfax County's Mason Neck peninsula and the six that nest there from Janu- ary to June do not know if they are in a state park, a federal refuge, or on private property. And they're not bothered that the bureaucracy "delisted" them last year. They forage, perch, roost and nest in this rare natural jewel in the "backyard" of the rapidly urbanizing Fairfax County, population one mil- lion. They seem unfazed by the ca- cophony of five million people com- ing and going in a metropolitan area 18 miles south of the nation's capital. At the bottom of this boot- shaped, 9,000-acre chunk of land jut- ting out into the Potomac River are the adjoining Mason Neck State Park and the Mason Neck Wildlife Refuge. Manager Jeff Lowry calls it a "small park," at 1,824 acres. The refuge next door, at 2,277 acres, is part of the Po- tomac River National Wildlife Refuge complex. In a county reach- ing build-out, undeveloped areas of any size are precious crucibles of life among the inexorable spread of "Mc- Mansions," big box stores, strip malls, highways, and parking lots. "There are places on the Neck where it seems like one is in a remote wilderness, alone with the soothing sounds of nature," said Gary Kni- pling, an area resident. "Only a dis- tant commuter train whistle or a sky- ward vapor trail remind you how close to suburbia one is." History Trumps Development Archaeologists have documented Early-Middle Woodland through Late Woodland period habitations on Mason Neck — people who used pits and platform hearths. The first record- ed history tells us that Captain John Smith, English explorer, sailed up the Patawomeck River in 1608 and met the Moyumpse tribe (later called the Dogue). These native Americans said Smith came on a "winged canoe," when he visited their encampment called "Tauxenent." In 1755, namesake George Mason, IV, author of the Vir- ginia Declaration of Riglits, built his Georgian plantation home on the Neck. The area was logged and farmed in the 1800s and 1900s. In the 1960s, as de- velopment exploded and two bald eagle nests were spotted, locals mobi- lized. Over the years, people have killed many schemes targeted at Mason Neck, including a 20,000-per- son satellite city, a deep-sea port, an outer beltway a museum, an aerosol spraying tower, a landfill, an airport, a resort island, a gas pipeline, and a sewer line. VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com Acres of wetlands brush up against fruit-bearing hardwoods, offering much needed habitat to a range of species. The park and refuge are man- aged for passive recreation and edu- cation. The refuge was the first refuge in the nation created to protect the bald eagle, which was listed as feder- ally endangered from 1978 until 1995, when the designation was lowered to "threatened," and then in August 2007, "delisted" under the Endan- gered Species Act. TheRark Begun in 1967, Mason Neck State Park features hardwood forests of oaks, beeches, hollies, and hickories. Five miles of gentle, self-guided trails meander through woods and along the edges of wetlands. Wilson's Spring Trail leads to a blind for view- ing waterfowl and beavers. The Eagle Spur trail ends at the fingers of the Kane's Creek blind, a popular feeding site for ospreys and great blue herons. Up to 200 species of birds have been spotted. Many of the park's ani- mals are nocturnal. Interpretive pro- grams with titles like "Rambling Reptiles," "Eat or Be Eaten" (about the food web), and "Insect Intrigue" educate both young and old. The vis- itors' center has informative displays, hand-on activities, and a resource li- brary. A Junior Rangers program for children ages 6 to 11 promotes con- servation ethics. In the spring, summer, and fall, the park rents bicycles, canoes, kayaks, and one picnic shelter. There's a cartop boat launch, and fishing from the shoreline or by canoe is available. A winter walk can feel like a meditation in "nature's cathe- dral," with the quiet disturbed only by the soft crackle of lingering beech leaves or the flutter of a mourning dove. What are the park's challenges? "Our goal is conservation. We want to provide habitat for the bald eagle," said Lowry. "The challenge is to con- * vince people who come here of that o goal and to develop interpretive pro- :§> grams consistent with conservation." g JANUARY 2009 He cites the special challenge of "presenting the conservation mes- sage" to people of varied ethnic back- grounds (approximately 150 lan- guages are spoken in Fairfax County, according to school officials). "My goal is to get people to think that all of this is theirs. It would make it an easi- er job if everyone wanted to protect it," Lowry continued. The Refuge Abutting the park is the Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, named for the "eagle lady." Hartwell, who died in 2000, led the charge to preserve Mason Neck and earned this moniker when she was greeted by developers flapping their arms like eagles at a public hearing. The refuge has 4.4 miles of shore- line, a mature oak-hickory forest, and one of the largest freshwater wet- lands in northern Virginia: the 285- acre Great Marsh. The largest great blue heron rookery in the mid-Atlantic, with al- most 1,600 nests during 2007, is here. Surveys have documented over 200 species of birds, 31 species of mam- mals, and 44 species of reptiles and amphibians on the refuge. Visitors can hike several woodsy trails, including two that offer views of waterfowl in Great Marsh. Managers are preparing a com- prehensive conservation plan and see few controversies surfacing. "Delisting of the bald eagle did not change our management, because the refuge was established for eagles and we try to protect them from dis- turbances," said Greg Weiler, Refuge Manager. Controlling invasive plants like Japanese stiltgrass and managing the 1,900 acres of forest to generate a "pipeline" of trees are ongoing chal- lenges. River traffic, like JetSkis®, may contribute to shoreline erosion. Demands never abate. "The public always wants more," said Weiler, who has a staff of six to provide edu- cational and interpretive activities. The refuge lost its biologist position, he laments. DGIF's Birding and Wildlife Trail splices through Mason Neck. "Places like Mason Neck State Park and Refuge provide opportunities close to large urban and suburban centers for people to experience wild places. One part of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' mission is to provide opportunities for people to enjoy wildlife-related recreation. The Birding and Wildlife Trail pro- vides over 650 such opportunities," said Jeffrey Trollinger, DGIF's Watch- able Wildlife Program manager. The National Park Service's new Captain John Smith National His- toric Trail also skirts along the penin- sula. A managed deer hunt, run jointly by the park and refuge, is held annu- ally in late November or early De- cember, because in 1994 managers re- alized that the deer were in poor health and eating everything within reach. In 2007, for 90 hunters the take was 111 deer. Critical Eagle Habitat When European settlers arrived in America, there were half a million bald eagles. In 1963, their numbers had plummeted to 417 breeding pairs in the lower 48 states. In 2007, that number had rebounded to over 9,000 breeding pairs. In Virginia, the number of breeding pairs has jumped from 50 to over 550 in 25 years. Biologists say the resurgence of the bald eagle is one of the world's greatest conservation success stories, but available habitat is key to their survival. "Virginia's bald eagle pop- ulation depends upon a very limited VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com For More Information On the 8,800-acre Mason Neck peninsula, 6,600 acres are managed cooperatively by five regional, state, and federal agencies. 7301 High Point Road Lorton, Virginia 22079-401 703-339-2385 or 703-339-2380 (visitor center) www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/mas.shtml www.dgif.virginia.gov/vbwt Gunston Ha 1 0709 Gunston Road Lorton, Virginia 22079 703-550-9220 www.gunstonhall.org High Point Roac Lorton, Virginia 22079 703-490-4979 LeTuge •onal Wildlife Refuge Complex has two other refuges, Occoquan Bay http://www.fws.gov/refuges/profiles/index.cfm?id=51 61 1 and Featherstone www.fws.gov/refuges/profi les/index.cfm?id=51 61 2 amount of suitable habitat, found mainly along our tidal rivers in the Chesapeake Bay region," wrote Ed- ward Clark, President of the Wildlife Center of Virginia, last July. "There is strong evidence that the available bald eagle habitat is approaching car- rying capacity. In other words, it's fill- ing up. At some point . . . there simply will be no room for more eagles to nest in Virginia. If the habitat shrinks, the bald eagle population will decline as well." Mason Neck's mix of forest, field, wetland, and shoreline provide a rich biodiversity of habitat, rare in north- ern Virginia. The peninsula's protect- ed lands are a shining example of citi- zen-driven conservation that pro- vides a proud and almost pristine home for our nation's symbol in an increasingly crowded world. □ Glenda Booth, a freelance writer and legislative consultant, grew up in Southwest Virginia and has lived in Northern Virginia for 39 years. She is ac- tive in many conservation efforts, including serv- ing as Virginia Outreach Coordinator for the Na- tional Audubon Society and president of the Friends of Dyke Marsh. 1 0406 Gunston Roa Lorton, Virginia 22079 703-399-8009 www.blm.gov (search on Meadowo* sadowood) Caotain lohn Smith Chesapeake Bay Program, National Park Service 41 Severn Avenue, Suite 1 09 Annapolis, Maryland 2 1403 410-267-5720 www.nps.gov/cajo 6501 Pohick Bay Dri\ Lorton, Virginia 22079 703-339-61 04 (camp center) www.nvrpa.org/parks/pohickbay/index.php 14344 Jefferson Davis Highway Woodbridge, Virginia 22 191 703-636-4115 www.foprr.org afiSS* JANUARY 2009 13 Raccoons, along with other wild animals such as fox, otter, muskrat and mink, have long been sought after by trappers and hunters. Native Americans and European settlers early on recognized raccoons as an excellent source of food and clothing. 4 Young friends made a lifetime of memories learning how to trap. 9 % MM I byMarcPuckett I have not fur trapped in many years. Growing older brings new responsibilities and interests, and what once was a passion can become a thing of the past. But now and then something hap- pens to blow the dust off old memories. In a work- shop I attended a while back, called "Trapping Matters," I learned plenty but also experienced a cascade of memories. We've heard our parents talk all our lives about the "good old days." It always left me feeling cheat- ed, like I'd somehow been born too late. "Wish you could have been there, boy, the sky was black with ducks." Truthfully speaking, my dad and I enjoyed countless days afield and I don't remember a short- age of game. However, I do not recall feeling like I was part of the "heydays" of anything, either. My good friends and I trapped through the late seventies and early eighties. We walked trap lines close to home at first, but as soon as we could drive or finagle a ride, we were off to bigger water. We ac- tually took French classes in high school because we dreamed of becoming professional Canadian fur trappers. Just thinking about this brings r)ack 14 VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com ©F. Eugene Hester Though fur prices are not as high as they were 30 years ago, trapping is still a good way to earn a little extra money. More importantly it's a great way to get exercise while spending time learning more about nature. some of those old emotions. You know the way it felt back when anything seemed possible and worries were few. Don't you remember the flick- er of electricity that would run through you while sitting and thinking about these things? The French lessons did not go so well, but the trapping did. We usually ran lines in pairs. Mostly be- cause we were friends and did nearly every- thing together, but also for safety, because the New in winter ran fast and cold and of course that is the only way our moms would let us go. My good friend Andy and I ran a driving line that extended on both sides of the New River from just above the Celanese factory near Bluff City all the way to the power plant in Glen Lyn — round trip, 40 miles a day — every day all winter. Lots of gas, yes, but the fur-price-to-gas ratio was much more in our favor then. We trapped every speck of water we could legally get on. Near all the public access points, along road right-of-ways, and anywhere a sympathet- ic landowner would give us permission. The competition was stiff and we constantly scouted for new places. During peaks we'd have over JANUARY 2009 100 traps set, mostly Conibears for muskrats. The whole thing was grand; epic even, in our eyes. Just getting ready to trap each winter was so much fun. I recall every year we'd get together and make our supply lists and send our lure, trap, dye and tag orders to places like the Hawbaker's Trapping Supply Company, or Cronk's Out- door Supplies. The next best thing to checking traps was waiting for the postal truck to arrive with our order. Our moms cringed, but grudgingly allowed us to boil traps in an old bean pot in the kitchen. We all subscribed to Fur-Fish- Game. Every issue had a hand-paint- ed print for a cover, depicting various aspects of outdoor living. It was the only magazine that actually had a trapping section, with updates on fur prices and the best "how-to" articles. We were self-taught trappers and most of us learned how from that simple black and white publication. The magazine, along with a cloth- bound copy of S. Stanley Hawbak- er's Trapping North American Furbear- ers, set us free. Rain or shine, ice or wind, we ran traps after school each day and skinned fur until 8 or 9 o'clock at night. After which homework still waited. We took so much pride in our furs, painfully peeling the hides, fleshing them, then stretching them, first fur side out so that we could ac- tually take a brush through the hair. The basement of my house served as the fur shed. We placed tacks in the joists for hanging stretchers, and by winter's end, half the ceiling was ob- scured by hides. Then the big day arrived. The time came to sell our hard earned take. I can close my eyes and still see those stacks of furs, mostly muskrats, but every year a few mink, a few rac- coon, and the bragging prize of a fox or two. More than that, I can remem- ber how the furs sounded. They made a crackling noise when they'd been properly handled. We took our furs to Terry Bry son's Store in Draper. The store was not much to look at, but Terry liked us and was fair to us, even though we were kids, and he always had a good joke to tell and a grin on his face. He would take each fur and give it a tug and then blow on it to see how it lay. Then he'd grade it. "Num- ber 1, prime; number 2, fair; number 1, extra prime," would ring through his shop. His wife would write down the price on each and at the end he'd give us a grand total. Now and then we'd argue with him a little over a fur, and sometimes he'd actually change a grade for us. My best take was over 70 muskrats, along with 2 minks, 2 foxes, and 3 raccoons. As I recall, the year was 1980 and I made close to $800 — paid in cash. What I did not know then was that I was part of trapping's "good old days." Each participant in the workshop that day received a packet of information, part of which con- tained a historical record of Virginia's fur harvest. The data spanned from 1964 until 2004 and included num- bers on peak fur prices. The best 5 ^ m VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com years for trapping in Virginia were 1979, 1980, and 1981. During the 1980-81 season, 432,960 furs were sold in the Commonwealth with an estimated present-day value of $10,599,714. These years were Vir- ginia's heyday peaks in trapping. I have a daughter now. I don't know if she'll ever trap, but I plan to impart to her a love of the outdoors. I'll teach her that trapping, hunting, and fishing bring us closer to the land than anything else we can do. I'll teach her that food does not come from a box or milk from a jug. I hope she'll see the seriousness, but also the necessity, of death and understand the full circle of life. And she'll learn responsibility, just like we did, as no one made us check those traps. We did it because we knew it was right. Nobody forced us to take pride in those furs; we just did it because that's how we were raised. And no one was watching us while we were in those woods on an evening when we were so tempted to shoot a doe out of season, but did not. Outwitting an elusive muskrat may seem like a waste of time to most people, but for those who have walked a trapline on a cold winter day along the New River or shared in a tale or two of living off the land, the memories that the experience brings last a lifetime. It is hard to learn those kinds of lessons on a computer: The results of actions are not so serious. Somehow when a young person holds a squir- rel, or a dove, or a muskrat in hand, they begin to see how their actions have consequences, and though en- joyable, the actions are not to be taken lightly. Someday maybe I'll have a grandkid sitting on my lap and I'll be able to reminisce, "You should have seen that river, so cold that ice packs drifted into shore at night, and run- ning fast, but still clear enough to see a muskrat tunnel. And Andy and I would be out there so long our hands would be like hunks of freezer meat, but we'd be catching muskrats and making money and answering to no one but the weather. And sometimes close to dark the winter air would press down so hard it caught the sound close to the ground and we could hear far off down the river the Norfolk & Western diesel train leav- ing the Glen Lyn coal depot. That sound always made it seem warmer than it was. I wish you could have been there with us. We'd come to that last trap with barely enough light to see our way down the river bank; we'd have to be so careful as that bank was slick with ice, and one mis- step could have sent us down that river for good. Then we'd claw our way back up, often holding a muskrat in one hand, and get that truck moving hard and get that heater rolling steam. We'd grab a pop and some nabs on the way back and talk about the events of the day. That heater would make our frozen faces thaw so fast they'd glow red in the dash lights. And we'd laugh like the carefree kids we were. It was some- thing. It was the good old days." □ Marc Puckett is the Small Game Project Lender with the Wildlife Division of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. JANUARY 2009 17 Winter I s story and illustrations by Spike Knuth Every few winter seasons, an invasion of birds from the Boreal forests of Canada takes place. These invasions, or "ir- ruptions," are irregular migratory movements of birds seeking food. Most of these birds are seed-eating songbirds but a few are predatory species. Irruptions are not fully un- derstood, but are believed to be caused by a scarcity of winter food of- ferings over wide areas of the north- ern forests. These migrations occur mainly in late autumn or early winter and can be very spectacular: Large numbers of birds suddenly appear in areas where they are not normally seen. One or more species of seed-eat- ing finches will move south, often in large flocks. Those most apt to be Evening Grosbeak seen in Virginia include pine siskins, red crossbills, white-winged cross- bills, evening grosbeaks, and com- mon redpolls. The red-breasted nuthatch, while a common winter resident here, may show up in much larger numbers during an irruption. These species rely heavily on the seeds of conifers like spruce, hem- lock, pines, and tamaracks, as well as hardwoods like alder, birch, ash, and box elder, and the fruits of sumac and hawthorns. Ornithologists believe these irruptions occur due to the fail- ure of seed-bearing trees, forcing the birds to wander southward in search of food. It is believed that this occurs because, in years of good seed pro- duction, these seed-eating birds thrive and their populations grow. However, if a year or two of plenty is followed by a seed crop failure or scarcity, the birds are faced with food shortages, forcing them to migrate. A species may show up in large num- bers in one area for a short time or may stay around for a good part of winter if food is readily available. Then it will disappear, unlikely or never to be seen again in that area. A number of predatory species Pine Siskin may also wander southward in win- ter, including northern goshawks, snowy owls, and rough-legged hawks. These predators feed on small mammals that go through cyclical fluctuations in their popula- tions. Studies reveal that small tun- dra and grassland rodents go through 4-year population cycles, while snowshoe hares go through 10- year cycles linked to the interaction between predation and food supply. When population crashes occur, many avian predators are forced out, to more southerly climes. Very likely the raptors, like the seed-eating finches, flourish during population explosions, but when the crash comes they also have to seek a new food supply. Other birds that are occasionally found in the northern or mountain- ous regions of Virginia during winter VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com \ Dmads I! Grow Wild! V \ may increase in numbers during ir- ruptions. Rare sightings of northern shrikes, northern goshawks, and rough-legged hawks occur. Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustesvcspertinus) Theyevening grosbeak sfands out be- cause of its distinctive deep yellows, rich brawns, black wings and tail, large white wing patches, black cap, yellow eye stripe, and ©rge pale bill. The female appears more grayish, overall, withplack wings and white patches and only a touch of yellow on its flanks. These gregarious birds are 7 to 8 Yi inches long, and they commonly appear suddenly at backyard feed- ers — usually in large, active, noisy flocks — devouring sunflower seeds at prodigious rates. While feeding, JANUARY 2009 Red Crossbill they constantly utter their "peer" call, or a double-noted chirping "clee-ip," j somewhat similar to the house spar- ! row's call. If the feeder is kept stocked each day they'll keep coming back, *but when the food runs out, they leave as fast as they appeared. Their natural foods include tree buds, wild fruits, box elder and ash seeds, as well as a variety of conifer seeds. They also consume salt and are often drawn to salt treated highway edges in winter. Their irruptions sometimes carry flocks as far as the Gulf Coast. Pine Siskin (Carduelis pimis) While they are naturally found win- tering in Virginia, pine siskins show up in larger numbers during an ir- ruption. Some flocks may swell to 200 birds. Often in the company of goldfinches, they will come readily to backyard tube-type feeders to feed on niger (thistle) seed. Measuring about 5 inches, both sexes are heavily streaked with brown and buffy white and with yel- low wing and tail markings. The le shows more yellow. The tail is deeply forked and the bill is conical, but sharper and narrower than other finches. The call of the pine siskin is often likened to that of a hoarse goldfinch — a penetrating "zee-e-e- em" note that rises in pitch and inten- sity at the end. Siskins are fond of alder, birch, and hemlock seeds, but will also go to fields and gardens to feed on the seeds of grasses, flowers, and shrubs. Red Crossbill (Loxiacurvirostra) At first glance it looks like the cross- bill's bill is deformed, because its mandibles are crossed. But, in fact, nature has designed it perfectly to feed as it does. It inserts its bill into the scale of a pine cone, then opens its bill to pry apart the scale, enabling its barbed tongue to pluck out the seed. The red crossbill has a variety of plumages, but usually exhibits a dull red with a brighter red rump patch and dusky wings and tail. The female is dull green or grayish-olive. This 19 bird breeds erratically at almost any- time of the year. About eight different types or sub-species have been iden- tified throughout the continent, which are of different sizes and range from six to eight inches. Seeds of spruce, pine, hemlock, and firs are favored. Red crossbills wander in flocks of about 10-30 birds, feeding high in the tops of trees uttering their chattering "peeping" calls like chickens. Their flight call is a "kep-kep-kep." White-winged Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera) The white-winged crossbill is found farther north than most other north- ern breeding finches. It is 6 to 6 % inches long and is a much rosier red than the red crossbill. It has two prominent white wing bars on black or dusky wings. The female is olive- gray with a yellowish rump. White-wings favor the seeds of fir, spruce, and hemlock. They feed high in the trees often hanging up- side down and in all kinds of posi- tions at the ends of branches — much like parrots — as they feed. Their calls are soft and musical peeps or canary- like sounds. They generally do not mix with other species. Common Redpoll (Carduelis flmnmea) This hardy little bird is about 5 l A inches long with a small yellow bill. It is dusky brown overall with paler streaks, a distinctive red cap, two paler wing bars and a black chin and lite-winged Crossbill ,.t j tl Common Redpolls eye patch. The male's breast has a tinge of red. Redpolls travel in flocks of about 20 to 30, feeding high in the trees on birch, alder, tama- rack, and arbor vitae. They are very active and hang from branches parrot-like as they feed. Often they'll sudden- ly fly to the ground to pick up seeds that have fallen. Purple Finch (Carpodacus purpureus) Measuring 6 l A inches, the purple finch is similar to the now common house finch, except it is more pinkish- purple to deeper red than the house finch, with a whitish belly. The female is olive-gray above and white below, with heavy streaking. The tail is deeply forked and it has a thick, heavy bill. The purple finch is another bird that winters regularly in Virginia but ex- pands in numbers during irruptions. Purple Finch VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com Red-breasted Nuthatch They fly in flocks of 12 to 40 birds and feed on various seeds and wild fruits. Their call is a sharp "pip" or "chip-chee" in flight. Their song is rapid and melodious. Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis) This little ball of energy measures only 4 Vi to 4 % inches. Its black and white striped facial pattern is distinctive, its breast and belly light reddish-brown. Its bill is straight, thin, and pointed. The red-breasted nuthatch is another bird found during winter in Virginia that increases in numbers when others are forced south during irruptions. It can move nimbly up and down free trunks head first or hang upside down as it feeds on seeds of conifers, sweet gum, and others. It will store seeds by pounding them into the crevices of tree bark. The call of the red-breast is a nasal "ahnk" or "auk-auk-auk," uttered ^ •< rapidly. It is quick, active, and bold, seem- ingly unafraid of humans. Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) This "ghost owl" measures 20 to 27 inches. It is basically all white but with dark dusky to black barring on its back, breast, and wings. Young birds are the most heavily marked and are often sooty- gray during their first year. Females are larg- er and more heavily marked than males. In flight they appear stocky and neck- less with a round head. They fly with an irregular wing beat that is quicker on the upbeat than on the down stroke, and interrupted by sailing. This owl is diurnal, ac- tive and feeding all day. ,/ It is a bird of the tun- ' / dra regions and other open landscapes. As it moves south it favors dunes of coastal beaches, lake shores, marshes, large farm fields, and grasslands. The snowy owl hunts from lookout perches such as posts, knolls, boulders, ice heaves, and old buildings. In Canada, snowshoe hares, ptarmigans, and lemmings form their primary diet, but during irruptions south, they feed on rabbits, voles, ducks, grebes, wounded game, and fish. □ Spike Knuth is an avid naturalist and wildlife artist. For over 30 years Ins art- work and writing have appeared in Virginia Wildlife. Spike is also a member of the Virginia Outdoor Writers Association. Be Wild! Live Wild! Grow Wild! is a regular feature that highlights Virginia's Wildlife Action Plan, which is de- signed to unite natural resources agencies, sportsmen and women, conservationists and citizens in a common vision for the conservation of the Commonwealth's wildlife and habitats in which they live. To learn more or to become in- volved with this new program visit: bewildvirginia.org. Snowy Owl JANUARY 2009 Virginia kK i \, Naturally r he Patto DGIF's Conservation Police Officer Daniel Ross and students examine mast. Students at Eureka Elementary discover that one path leads to another. stoiy and photos by Gail Brown rhe kids in Eureka Elementary School's Ecology Club weren't looking for hidden trails or buried treasures that Saturday morn- ing. It was a Christmas tree they wanted — a small one that the club could carry in the town parade, preferably one being crowded out by the dense overgrowth in the woods behind their school. What they found changed their mission, changed their club, and continues to change the way they do things at this Charlotte County school. But the story doesn't begin here; it started months earlier 22 when speech pathologist Liz Peaden noticed how excited the students were just to get outside and simply plant a tree. "The planting was part of our Jamestown celebration," said Pead- en. "I'd been thinking about how much the schoolyard needed to be re- vitalized, and after seeing how happy the kids were to be outside planting, I just got the idea to form an environmental club and give them more of that opportunity." That "eu- reka moment" led to a grant for $2,000 from the Virginia Environ- mental Endowment, the formation of Eureka's Ecology Club, and the dis- covery of a hidden nature trail, a lost exercise trail, and various discarded treasures from other lifetimes. "We started meeting in Novem- ber, 2007, and had just agreed on our first project — planting a garden — when the kids decided they wanted to look for their tree. That's when we found the trail. It was very over- grown, but you could definitely see part of a carved-out path leading into the woods." Over the past decade, nature's bullies like Gustav, Isabel, and Fran had made the woods their private playground, blocking en- trance to others and heaping trees into piles with the abandon of back- packs tossed carelessly in a school- yard. After promising to proceed with caution, the kids immediately leapt and scampered over a tangle of limbs and vines. Not deterred by what they faced, these fearless ad- venturers stood and declared the na- ture trail "their" project. In order to make the trail safe for deeper exploration, the ecology club turned to parent and community vol- unteers who generously donated Carefully releasing the quail is part of the project. VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com equipment, gasoline, and numerous hours of hard labor to remove trees and identify and cut back potentially dangerous limbs. Each weekend, after clearing more of the trail, the kids continued to explore the tree line, soon finding three different en- trances and 25 markers identifying particular trees and plants. Throughout the year, following a hearty breakfast of pancakes and juice, Eureka's young environmen- talists planted trees, created gardens, picked up trash, and continued their work in the woods — always looking to nature for clues to help them locate missing parts of the trail or interest- ing things to study. Amber especially liked the mornings that included pre- sentations by volunteers such as Melissa Early, a recent college gradu- ate who spoke to the club about pre- serving the forest as a habitat for birds. Parent Larry Newcomb pre- sented a lesson about bobwhite quail and provided the eggs, incubators, and feed so club members could raise and release quail, an exceptional proj- ect even for a Virginia Naturally school. By the time the kids were ready to move on to middle school, the na- ture trail was fully uncovered and parts of a different trail, a long-lost ex- ercise trail, were rediscovered by the group! Newly unearthed dump sites gave up some secrets as well, offering up an icebox, some brown glass bot- tles, and an old tire which the kids rolled out of the woods to reuse as a protective bumper around their Jamestown dogwood. While the first ecology club was small, about 10 active members, this year's club has grown to over 30 stu- dents all eager to do their part to help the environment. Their enthusiasm has trickled down to their younger An artistic parent created signs for all entrances to the nature trail. Members of the Ecology Club work in teams to identify the trees along their nature trail. JANUARY 2009 23 Paying attention to detail, taking notes, and using field guides help to ensure accuracy. siblings, thanks in part to the dedica- tion of educators like first grade teacher Sandy Flynn. Flynn, not con- tent to let her students study outside only some of the time, has set up a campsite inside her classroom. There, students can snuggle around the campfire to do their work or earn reading privileges in the tent that beckons from across the room. Flynn, like Peaden, brings in ex- perts from the field, such as South- side Soil and Water Conservation District educator Julie Hamlett, to help teach lessons about environ- mental stewardship. If the squeals Forester Milter Adams encourages students to look carefully at different trees and plants to discover clues about the forest's history. 24 Bit ¥ + ™ w / N J » i I / U ' ■ 1 1 / PI A >s , f v -— ' 7^ ^s L^^ -^arir T ^^H - ^^ II Look what can happen to our rivers! and looks on the faces of the students are any indication, it could be said that Hamlett's lesson on water pollu- tion is especially exciting. Enthusi- asm exploded as students, playing the role of industry, homeowner, farmer, and picnicker, left their mark on the "river," leading Hannah to gasp: "I'm afraid of what it's going to look like!" Hamlett was also instrumental in helping Peaden successfully apply for a Virginia Environmental Endow- ment Grant. Funds from the grant helped the school purchase the trees, plants, and equipment needed by the ecology club to complete their many projects, which included creating a natural buffer to solve an erosion problem. "The grant made, and con- tinues to make, all the difference in our stewardship efforts," said Pead- en. Anne Payne, PTO president at the time the nature trail was created, recently walked the property with her sister in an effort to locate the ex- ercise trail. While remnants from a few fitness stations have been uncov- ered, nature is struggling to keep most of the trail a secret. "I'm so excit- ed to see the kids outdoors and learn- ing to appreciate these beautiful woods," said Payne. "Not every VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com A classroom "campsite" is an ideal place to share ideas about how we can help the environment. school has such an ideal site and we need to use it." Payne also noticed a persimmon tree and couldn't help commenting, "That fruit is bitter now, but after the first frost it will make a delicious jelly and pudding" — proving once again that although it's challenging to work outside, there are also great rewards in recognizing nature's bounty! Recently, Peaden was excited to notice area high schools using the trail for the Federation FFA forestry judging event, an event that included tree identification. What further ben- efits will emerge as a result of the stu- dents' efforts to promote this natural treasure have yet to be determined; all indicators, however, point to in- creased good for the greater commu- nity. If you ask the kids what they think about their new club and civic involvement, they will give you myriad reasons why so many are willing to sacrifice their Saturday mornings to hard work. Perhaps Chandler's words sum it up best: "The reason I liked helping out at the ecology club is because it feels good to make a difference at our school," which prompted William to add, "We also learned how to cook a few pancakes here and there." As all students have learned, no one knows where they will wind up when they start down a path they haven't walked before, but one thing's for sure at Eureka: Saturday mornings will never be the same again. □ Gail Brown is a retired principal for Chesterfield County Public Schools. She is a lifelong learner and educator, and her teaching and administrative ex- periences in grades K-12 have taught her that proj- ect-based environmental programs teach science standards, promote core values, and provide excit- ing educational experiences for the entire commu- nity. Parent Larry Newcomb donated quail eggs, incubators, and feed so that students could raise and release quail. Was the project a success? Just look at that smile. JANUARY 2009 25 Books, "Birds, ancj ^omg 'Business tf\e Qld Wasfiioned ffDau. by Beth Hester "In all our encounters with business- es and shops, we now half expect to be treated not as customers, but as system trainees who haven't quite got the hang of it yet." - Lynne Truss, Talk to the Hand e live in an online world where collectors can buy or sell virtually any object by way of numerous Internet auc- tions. This system may work out just fine for those whose passion is accu- mulating Pez dispensers from the 1960s, or for the type of person who bids on misshapen potatoes resem- bling Elvis. Where, then, can the earnest collector of fine sporting books and art turn for sage advice and a civil transaction? Enter Carol Lueder of Fair Chase Books, Inc. Since 1982, Carol has been in the mail order book business, spe- cializing in new and antiquarian books with hunting, shooting and adventure themes. Located in Lex- ington, Virginia, and armed with a piquant sense of humor, Carol has the expertise to help collectors find volumes old and new. Need to re- place that early edition of Eastern Up- land Shooting that your puppy just de- molished? Dying for an autographed copy of Gunning the Eastern Uplands 1 . Carol will incline her ear to your plea and provide you with the kind of per- sonalized customer service that is ex- tremely rare in our self-service world. "I love what I do," she said. "A good book dealer should have a pas- sion and reverence for their books, and a willingness to develop a rap- port with their customers ... I find VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com Carol Lueder operates Fair Chase out of Lexington but often exhibits at sportsman events throughout the region. that meeting potential clients is satis- fying to me, and reassuring to them. After all these years I still get a rush when I'm able to locate a scarce book for someone." Carol grew up in a Chicago sub- urb where she nurtured a passion for horses and trail riding. An interest in exploring the wildlife that she en- countered led to the purchase of field guides and books on duck hunting. Like most bibliophiles, one book led to another until, as Carol described it, "I had a vast quantity of books with- out much quality." Carol eventually established a career in advertising, but the book goddess wouldn't leave her alone, and opportunity came knocking twice: Carol purchased an estate of hunting books which al- lowed her to create her first Fair Chase catalog. Then, when a friendly com- petitor took early retirement, Carol was able to purchase his inventory and mailing list. She also began to do more traveling, taking Fair Chase Books to shows and side-by-side events across the country. Carol, who is an avid upland bird hunter and side-by-side aficionado, comes to Virginia by way of Wiscon- sin. She considered moving out west to be near her daughter Liz, who is a three-time, All American sporting clays competitor, but found that Cody, Wyoming, wasn't quite the place to run her business. Undaunt- ed, Carol opened up a map of the U.S. and highlighted all of the places where she had attended shows and side-by-side events. Then, Carol said, "I squinted, and put my finger in the middle of the highlighted areas ... and that's how I ended up in Lexing- ton, Virginia." We are fortunate to have a re- source like Carol who is an expert in her field, and she has some good ad- vice for readers of Virginia Wildlife who may be interested in starting their own collections of sporting books. "There is a lot of misinformation and fraudulent advertising on the In- ternet, so you have to be wary. There is also the perception that working with a specialist dealer is more ex- pensive that buying a volume from an online auction, but this isn't al- ways the case. Sure, inexperienced buyers and sellers may find what they think is a good buy at a church bazaar or a yard sale, and sometimes you may get a bargain, but will you really know about the end page that is missing, or the jam smudge on the corner? If something is defective, what kind of recourse will you have? How much time and trouble will it take to remedy the situation? Also, shipping charges are an important factor, and can easily jack up the price of a book." Carol says the best guidance is to develop a relationship with your book dealer. "Find a dealer with whom you feel comfortable. Investi- gate what your options are if the book you purchase has been wrongly de- scribed." JANUARY 2009 27 Carol Lueder \. Sightings In addition to her mail order business, Carol also has permanent displays in Vir- ginia at The Homestead Shooting Club in Hot Springs and Duke's Antique Center in Lexington. She also attends a number of events throughout the year. Her upcoming schedule in 2009, also available at her Web site www.fchase.net, is: January 2-4: East Coast Fine Arms Show, Hyatt Regency, Greenwich, CT. Carole, (914) 248-1000. April 24-26: Southern Side-by-Side Spring Classic, Deep River Sporting Clays, Sanford, NC. Call (919) 774-7080 for details or go to www.deepriver.net. May 15-17: North/South Side-by-Side Champion- ship, The Homestead, Hot Springs, VA. June 5-7: American Side-by-Side Classic. Haus- mann's Hidden Hollow, near Lawton, PA. Call (908) 719-9797 or (570) 934-2336 for details or go to www.hhhsc.net. September 11-13: Game Conservancy Showcase. Hudson Farm, Stanhope, NJ. Additional resources for the collector: The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh contains many good references and links for anyone interested in doing more research on their own: www.carnegielibrary.org. r Over the years, Carol has dealt with all kinds of clients, from check- book participants who buy for in- vestment purposes, as well as those who are striving to build a collection of books on subjects close to their hearts such as' deer, turkey, or water- fowl. And, as Carol said, "If money is not an object, you can collect almost anything." Carol also has a simple tip to help you care for your collection of beloved volumes: "The types of paper and glue used in the manufac- ture of books have a lot to do with de- terioration, but there are some things you can do. Proper storage is impor- tant. Sunlight and humidity are a book's worst enemy. Take your pa- perbacks to the cabin, and leave the first editions at home!" What about her own book collec- tion? What books and authors res- onate? "Dangerous River, written by R.M. Patterson about his adventures in northwest Canada is a really won- derful book that gives you the oppor- tunity to immerse yourself in another time." Also, anything by Archibald Rutledge. "He was not just a hunter, but a great outdoorsman." Carol also recommends the 'Sis- ters of the Hunt' series put out by Stackpole Books, especially the vol- ume, Trails of Enchantment, which was first published in 1930 by Pauli- na Brandreth under the pseudonym Paul. It is considered by many to be one of the best books ever written about white-tailed deer and deer hunting. Finally, Carol has a fondness for many of the classic southern sto- rytellers, like Nash Buckingham and Havilah Babcock. In her incarnation as an upland bird hunter, Carol has close ties to the fair chase hunting ethic from which she derived the name of her business. When she decided to shoot seriously she wanted to learn from a hunter, rather than from a shooting instruc- tor. "I knew that learning from a hunter would take into account many ethical questions, with the em- phasis on the experience rather than the kill. A shooting instructor wants you to kill as many targets as possi- ble. A good hunter teaches you to kill efficiently. Both disciplines require accuracy, but I want to be accurate to minimize pain or wounding." Carol also enjoys the camaraderie of bird hunting and the enjoyment of nature as an end in itself. Carol learned to shoot with a 20 gauge Citori Superlight O/U. As she became more confident, she pur- chased an Italian side-by-side, a Zan- otti, also in 20 bore. "I love shooting my Zanotti, she said. "It's light and accurate ... too tightly choked for sporting clays, but really gives you a thrill when you do reduce a clay to dust! It's really choked for pheasant and grouse in northern Wisconsin." For Carol, the love of hunting and shooting continues to grow, and her book business has evolved over the years into a full-time job. Carol said simply, "I participate in lots of events with my books and guns, and I love every minute spent reading and shooting." You may contact Carol Lueder at Fair Chase Books, Inc. by email or by phone: firstname.lastname@example.org, or 1- 540-463-9189. Your request will be handled professionally and your purchase, meticulously packaged and shipped in a timely manner: a genuinely satisfying, old fashioned business encounter. □ Beth Hester is a writer and freelance photogra- pher. Wlien not hunched over her laptop, she pursues other passions: reading, shooting, kayaking, fishing, tying saltwater flies, and tending her herb garden. She lives in Portsmouth. VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com JOk IMft 2009 Outdoor Calendar of Events For current information and registration on workshops go to the "Upcoming Events" page on the Department's Web site at www.HuntFishVA.com or call 804- 367-7800. January 3: Youth Waterfowl Hunting Workshop, Chance, Va. January 3: Firearms season closes for bear, deer and turkey. Late archery and late muzzleloading deer seasons close. January 16-18,: The Richmond Fishing Expo, Richmond Raceway Complex. For more information: vvww.ncboat- shows.com. January 31: Quail and squirrel sea- sons close February 14: Grouse season closes. February 28: Rabbit season closes. □ toJP by Beth Hester A Gentleman's Shooting Dog: The Evo- lution of the Legendary Ryman Setter by John D. Taylor Bonasa Press ISBN: 0-972594-9-3 Hardcover, with gallery of photo- graphs "At the core of the DeCoverly setter is more than a century of selective breeding for nat- ural hunting instincts. These instincts are comprised of scenting ability, intelligence to learn how to handle birds, and pointing instinct ... we do not want a dog to stand there like a well-trained fool. His job is to set the bird up for the gun. Our job is to expose him to birds and to let him learn his craft. " -The DeCoverly Kennels JANUARY 2009 Nothing is more boring than a sporting author who sticks to the subject. The books we remember are those that meander about within an author's emotional and intellectual landscape. No matter how technical the subject, the central themes are best explored obliquely, alongside odd detours and side roads. This book veers off ... in a good way. Author John D. Taylor has hunt- ed upland bird in the mid-Atlantic re- gion for over thirty years. Long a devotee of the Ryman English setter, he explores the evolution of this calm and intelligent breed, profiling the long line of dedicated individuals who have guided it for over a centu- ry. The dogs possess a finely-tuned and efficient combination of fluid athleticism and hunting instinct. In an age of shortcuts and murky ideals, Taylor describes the efforts of The De- Coverly Kennels. Avid about im- proving the health of the line, and maintaining high standards, they have lovingly cultivated the qualities that make the Ryman setter the per- fect partner at home, on the bench, and in the field. The back story to Taylor's search for the perfect gun dog is a more per- sonal narrative: his lifelong quest to discover deep down what it really means to be a hunter, an ethical sportsman, and a gentleman. These engaging detours merge with inves- tigations into the history of human beings as hunters, the dogs that even- tually became their allies, the roots of the English setter, and finally, what the future might hold for the gentle- man (and ... one might add here, gentlewoman) and his or her hunting dog. In the end, Taylor concludes that true sportsmanship in the field is a se- ries of discoveries: "The sum of thir- ty-three gunning seasons tells me the root of true gentlemanship afield is a strong sense of self-knowledge cou- pled with an equally strong and healthy respect for wildlife and the natural world. In the end, I believe it boils down to setting your own stan- dards and rising to them." Scott Hammond of West Point, Virginia, proudly displays ducks harvested with his grandfather on a wintry day last January. From the look on his face, Scott is not think- ing about his cold, wet feet. Congratula- tions, Scott. Subscribe to the NEW Virginia department of Came and Inland Fisheries Outdoor Report <^gv Managing and Conserving For a free email subscription, visit our Web site at www.HuntFishVA.com. Click on the Outdoor Report link and simply fill in the required information. 29 Wood Duck Stewards Thanks to agriculture and shop teacher Howard Hill and his students, our Hog Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA) has expe- rienced no shortage of wood ducks. For over ten years, Mr. Hill has incorporated the building of duck nesting boxes into his cur- riculum. Hill began this partnership with the DGIF at the request of WMA staff Donald Hayes. The annual tradition teaches King William High School students important con- struction skills while giving back to the com- munity and, specifically, supporting healthy wood duck populations. Several students in this class hunt deer, and a few enjoy duck hunting on the Mat- taponi River nearby. Many also are members of "Future Farmers of America. " When asked about their motivations for participating, one student quipped, "Build- ing and making things is fun and much bet- ter than just sitting in class." Another echoed that working with wood was much more enjoyable than book work. The kids even organize fund-raising efforts to pay for all materials involved. *5fS> fe_^a Find Game Find Came is an interactive Web- based map viewer designed by the Vir- ginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to provide better and more current information about hunting land location and access in Virginia. Find Game allows users to map hunting areas by lo- cation and/or by game species, along with hunting quality by species, land manager contact information, site description, fa- cilities available, access information and associated Web links. To learn more about Find Game visit : www.HuntFishVA.com/huntiiiK/findgame. Commonwealth (/Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries LIFETIME Lifetime Licenses Open the door to a lifetime of enjoyment in the great outdoors of Virginia with a lifetime freshwater fishing, hunting or trout license! It's an investment that keeps on giving. For more information visit: http://www.HuntFishVA.com/fornis/ lifetime_licenses/instructions.html or call 1- (866) 721-6911 inn &* ^3* <&>« tf»« -KMi/BlM- "It's got to be a woman, a man's tracks are a lot bigger." *************** SCH 3-DIGIT 229 #VIR0002235105/8#60 JOHN SMITH P.O. BOX 11104 RICMOND VA 23230-1104 MAY09 Reading Your Label Is it time to renew? If you are uncertain when your subscription expires, look for the expiration date in the circled location on the sample above. Answers to the December 2008 "Byrd Nest" Crossword Puzzle B Y R D n E $ T B B u ■ V B L E B O W H U N T| 1 J E N 1 D A G E □ □ El E W 1 H A w K W E | E D ■ Pi p 13 E H O c K S P Y III D O a| b s °0 b H B R E E D| O R T |u II ' 1 ■ a P O 31 t|$[hJE L L F 1 |S|H ^Y |d| Q D 1 S M A L m i 1 C •:| 1 S 1 N □ □ H 1 R E D S T A R't| | S u L P H U R I □ □ c K L II P LA s|t|r|o n s ■ E G R E ■ □ H R A 1 L p| 1 1 p| 1 1 s|t|r| e| l| l E S | F A S Pi C ROSSWORD VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com A 2>ucJ? V/asit&r S loutna/ fy 7ee CJarkson January ind, 200% January has fnaj/y arrived, usual /y the best wonth for a duck hunter- in Viraim'a. By this point ) /yjoSt of the Swa// coaterS to the north are /ocked So/id in ice and the birds haVe no choi<Ce but to head South- So toe coait, coe virainionS, in the /y?arSheS arid by the beaVer ponds -for the b'a /y/iarationS of ' waj Vards ', b/ack ducks, tea/, and pintaj/s. At /east that is the coay toe hope it happens. The Second day in January looked to be the /yjoSt pro/y?iSina of the Season to that point . /he tides coere perfect in a /yiarsh X hunt coith a friend. The forecast caj/ed for Strona coinds out of the north, a coind chi// in the teenS, and a chanCe ofsnoco ShocoerS- perfect duck hunt'ma coeather. So aS not to Loafce /yjy tcoo you no ch'/dren and coife, X a/yi aenera//y re/eaated to s/eepina on the Couch if X O/y? aettina Up eat/y to hunt. Xdon t wind. Xt Certainly beats the reperCUSSionS of coak- ina theyyj. 'That /y?ornina X cooke <3uick/y and auiet/y, poured a cup of Coffee, and f!//ed /y/y ther/y/oS . X coaS ha/fcooy docon the coa/k cohen X heard /yy coife Co// fro/yf the door. This Cou/dn t oe aood, X kneco. " X th'm/( X have the f/u ) She Said. X turned to head back ^he f/aa on the front of the hoUSe b/ocoina S'decoayS in the pro/yjiSed north coind. X coaSn t tcoo Steps into the hoUSe before she ran to the bathroo/y) and aot Sick- ~7h'S definitely coaS not aood. She esy?eraed a feco /yfinuteS later and /yiust ha/e SenSed the coorry on /y?y face . X O/y) not proud to ad/^it that X /yiiaht have been /y/ore Concerned a/>out /y*y duck hunt than the fact that She had the f/u. To syjy a^jaZe/yjent, She to/d we to ao afiead and ao. On/y a Short drive to /*iy friend S hoUSe, X coaS there in Just a feco /yjinuteS. But it coaS Zona enouah to Co/y/e to /yjy SenSeS. V/e coaS /oadina a deCoy baa into the boat cohen X arrived and told hisy) Xcoou/dn t be /yjakina the trip) that Xcoou/d rather /iVe to hunt another day. Xn a feco /yi'muteS XcoaS back ' &t ho/yje, tend ina to /yjy coife. V/e CaJ led later that /yjornina. The birds coere eVeryujhere. The best syiornina m the /yiarsh he had Seen in tcoo yearS . January turned out to be a pretty aood /yjonth- There coere days coith decent baaS and So/yje coithout. Most Cou/d have been better) but as /yjy brother says, " Xf wy aunt had a beard she coou/d be />y Unc/e . HnaJ/y it arrived ) the last day of the SeaSon. X hunted in the /yiornina and Satoouite a feco ducks but coaS in the corona Spot. "There coOS Sti// the afternoon. A buddy invited /yje to a syjarSh cohere he and So/yie friends had been coearina out the ducks a// SeaSon. They aenera//y /et it rest in the aftei — noon) but SinCe this coaS the /aSt day, coe coou/d hunt it. u)hen coe arrived around 3, coood ducks coere of ready f/yina eVerycohere . X had never Seen anythina like it- There coere hundreds , ZJppina this coay and that throughout the ScoO/yjp. X had a /y?odifed choke and nu/yjber 2 S } the corona /oads and choke for this type of Shoot ina. £ventua//y, hocoeVer y X had /yy tcoo coood ducJ(S . You Spent So/y>e /yioney on thoSe birds , /y?y buddy joked. The bia ducks didn t Shoco unti/ after S hoot ina ti/y>e. tOhen they did the sky coaS b/ack coith /yiaJ/ardS) tea/) coidaeon, and b/ack ducks, ^e/uctant/y) coe picked up the fast of the decoys ) Un- loaded the aunS for the /aSt ti/yfe of the SeaSon, and /yiade our /ast /y/arch throuah a /yiarsh back to the truck- l^hen coe qot there, tcoo other hunter S coere coaitina. &0e Stood and coatched as the birds circ/ed and dropped into the /yjarSh- l^e listened aS the hen /yjaj/ards quacked /oud/y on the coater, Sianajina that it coaS Safe. The Co/Is See/y/ed Stranae/y louder, /ike they, too, k* r >eco it coaS oVer. /-or ten /y?in- uteS no one Spoke) coejust coatched and A'stened unti/ the /aSt of the birds had At in the /yrarsh- * tOe//, XaueSS that S it, one of the auyS Said, fna//y. " Yep. XaueSS that s it. by Ken and Maria Perrotte Hearty Venison Pot Roast /| re you looking for a crowd pleasing wild game dish t\ that'll be even better when served as leftovers as it was the first time it was ladled from the pot? Look no further. Dig out those venison roasts some consider marginal in terms of table fare and get rolling on a "Hearty Venison Pot Roast." This is an easy, all-in-one dish— actually more of a cross between a pot roast and a stew. Add hot yeast rolls for a complete meal. This recipe can be doubled or halved. Exact measure- ments aren't necessary. Add more or less of any ingredient to suit your taste. Other favored vegetables may be substi- tuted. Cook the stew for a long time— until the meat is fork-tender. We bone out the entire deer we take and this is a meal tailor-made for those cuts of venison that aren't the best on the grill. The sirloins in the hind quarters and the front shoulder roasts are excellent for this dish. This is an excellent meal to prepare in advance. It often benefits from a day in the fridge and can be reheated in the microwave. It also freezes well. Because the timing isn't critical, it's easy to prepare while watching football playoffs or playing in the snow. We often cook pot roast on the weekend when the kids and grandkids are visiting. We make a huge batch using what- ever vegetables we have on hand and freeze leftovers for a quick meal or two during the week. We recently served this dish to 2 5 hungry men at a hunting camp. One young man remarked, as he ladled up a third serving, that he hadn't had such a good stew since his grandmother passed away. Hearty Venison Pot Roast 3 or 4 pounds of boneless venison (sirloin or shoul- der roasts are ideal for this) Garlic pepper seasoning Vz large onion, sliced 1 cup sliced mushrooms 1 can (14.5 oz) whole, sliced, or diced tomatoes (if using fresh, add one 5.5oz can of tomato juice or V8) Vz teaspoon thyme 1 teaspoon marjoram 2 bay leaves Vi cup red wine (use a cheap cabernet/drink the good ones) 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 2 cups beef broth ( reduced salt is good) 3 or 4 medium potatoes, cut into iVz to 2 inch cubes 1 Vz cups sliced or baby carrots 1 bag frozen green beans (canned is OK) 1 tablespoon cornstarch Cut roast into two or three-inch cubes, season lightly with garlic pepper, and place in large roasting pan. (Cooking spray makes clean up easier.) Slice onion and add to pan. Add mushrooms, tomatoes, seasonings, wine, Worcester- shire and broth. Cover pan with top or aluminum foil. Roast at 325 degrees for about 3 hours. Add potatoes and carrots, re-cover and continue cooking for about 45 min- utes. By now, the meat should be tender. Add green beans, re-cover and cook another half hour. Remove from oven and discard bay leaves. In a small glass, mix cornstarch with about 2 tablespoons cold water. While juices are still piping hot, move meat and vegetables to one side, tilting if necessary to expose liquids in pan. Stir cornstarch into hot liquids to thicken. Makes 8 to 10 servings. Wine Pairing: Try a cabernet franc, such as the 2005 and 2006 offerings from Rockbridge Vineyard or Ingleside Vineyards. We've also served it with homemade cham- bourcin and a good vintage chambourcin or blend could match well. □ About our wild game cooking columnists : Maria and Ken Perrotte live in the far eastern edge of King George County, the gateway to the historic Northern Neck. Many a skeptic about eating wild game has become a con- vert after sharing a meal with them. The recipes they'll share in the coming months will reflect fish and game popular in and around Virginia. Occa- sionally, a guest professional chef may be spotlighted when Ken and Maria discover a unique or particularly creative way of preparing a dish. Color photos depicting the finished dish will also accompany most columris. Maria and Ken share a love for the outdoors-fishing, hunting or just enjoying crisp autumn mornings or sunny spring afternoons. Ken has also been the longtime outdoors columnist for the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star newspaper. Many of the recipes will stress simple, flexible preparation. Dining on fish and game you've caught and are sharing with family and friends is one of the greatest rewards of time spent afield. They'll also be suggesting Virginia wine and, on occasion, ale pairings with various dishes. So, let's get cooking! 32 VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com i by Lynda Richardson Trout and About Fishing With Your Digital Camera A I othing is more beautiful, or en- IV joyable, than fishing for trout among snow-covered boulders in an ice rimmed stream lined with ever- greens! As you head for the trout streams this winter, be sure to take along your trusty digital camera. When planning your fishing ad- venture here are some images that you might want to keep in mind. First, you should always take a few shots of the angler with his or her catch. Normally this is accomplished by having the angler kneel or stand holding the fish "belly to the ground" with lure in mouth. Including the rod and reel in the shot will tell even more of the story. A few things to re- member: Make sure you have a nice background behind the subject; have the angler remove his sunglasses so you can see his eyes; and make sure you're close enough that you can ac- tually see the fish! Don't be afraid to shoot a head and shoulders shot in- stead of a full-length shot. Also, make sure any hat isn't covering or shading his eyes. I use a flash a lot outdoors to fill in shadows under hats. Capturing action can be chal- lenging, but it offers a chance to catch the angler's graceful (or not so grace- ful) cast, or a trout leaping out of the water. High shutter speeds (1 /500th and up) will help you stop the action. Think about photographing the re- lease of the fish or some images of it placed carefully on a stream bank. Here you need to select a background that makes the fish stand out. Dried or green grass, pebbles, and sand all make nice backgrounds. Consider taking macro shots of the fish's head, or eyes, or the spotted texture of its skin, or even a close-up of the lure in its mouth. But be quick about it! If you're not going to eat the fish for dinner, you want to get it back into the water, unharmed, as soon as pos- sible! ■f ^KW — , "None of my angling buddies was close enough to get a picture of me with this brown trout, so I pulled my Canon G9 digital camera out of my vest pocket and snapped a few as I was bringing it in. (Love that auto-focus!) You can probably tell that I had the flash on, which added the sparkle to the water. " l 2008 Lynda Richardson Why not take some photographs of the landscape you're enjoying? A picture of that stream flanked by ice will definitely remind you of how cold and beautiful it was. Some digi- tal cameras have a panoramic feature that is particularly fun for capturing scenery. Also, challenge yourself to use all of the focal lengths your cam- era offers. Wide angles, telephoto, and macro images will add interest to your collection of photographs. On your next trout fishing trip this winter, why not stick a digital camera in your vest pocket and tell the story of your trip in pictures? If the fishing is slow, at least you can catch some "keeper" photographs! C You are invited to submit one to five of your best photographs to "Image of the Month," Virginia Wildlife Magazine, P.O. Box 11104, 4010 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23230-1104. Send origi- nal slides, super high-quality prints, or high-res 360 dpi jpeg files on disk and include a self-addressed, stamped en- velope or other shipping method for return. Also, please include any perti- nent information regarding how and where you captured the image and what camera and settings you used, along with your phone number. We look forward to seeing and sharing your work with the readers of Virginia Wildlifel iMumiiifiMimm Congratulations go to Dan Boxberger of Wytheville for his photograph of some unusual visitors: red crossbills'. Red crossbills are a species of special concern here in Virginia (see p. 19). This time last year, Dan photographed as the birds chowed down for up to an hour at a time at his feeders. Great spotting, Dan! Thank you for sharing this wonderful find. JANUARY 2009 33 We treat this world of ours as though we had a spare in the trunk. " This was the message scripted on a slip of paper curled inside my last fortune cookie. Wallop! In considering how to approach the first in a series of editorials, my mind has circled back to this simple, 15-word dictum over and over again. What strikes me about it, among other things, is its direct and univer- sal blame. Or perhaps, to be more magnanimous to the author, a uni- versal call to arms, a universal plea to take responsibility. The notion of individuals taking personal responsibility for their be- havior is creeping into all segments of public dialogue these days: from managing our finances to choosing healthier foods. One place it has yet to fully gain traction, however, is in our conversation about climate change. Feels like we are clinging to the idea that "governments" should lead the charge and that, somehow, "they" can fix the problems that ail our wobbly world. We're still tempt- ed to point fingers at everyone but ourselves. At a recent meeting to discuss how Virginians should plan for the effects of global warming upon wildlife and to better define both the issues and the people who should be coordinating with each other, I was reminded once again that genuine progress is taking place. The conver- sation about climate change is mov- ing forward in Virginia. But by habit, we government types often slip into familiar modes of doing business: trying to figure out how to effectively get our message out to the "interest- ed public" in order that we might chip away at consensus building. Yes, we in the business of wildlife management do need to be heard. But we need to deliver our message at a faster tempo, at a much higher volume. The challenge of planning for wildlife adaptations and migra- tions in the wake of rising tempera- tures and lost habitats would be daunting to consider under any cir- cumstances. That we face this chal- lenge with a narrower window of op- portunity to act can make the beat of consensus building feel a tad too slow. So while we hook arms with old friends — hunters, biologists, GIS techies, trout fishermen, school teachers, and others — in the choir loft, we must quickly invite new friends to join us. Surely, it's going to take all the friends we've got. My instincts: We will succeed only if we stop framing the conversa- tion in terms of "they" and "them." Like many other things facing Amer- icans right now, the time has come to roll up our sleeves, to search for every square inch of common ground be- tween us, and to accept the fact that we are inextricably connected — whether we choose to be or not — and that other life forms are hanging upon the decisions we make today. Finding daily ways to reduce your carbon footprint is easy: Just ask a kid if you're not sure where to start. Taking a walk outside and popping the trunk (on your hybrid) to confirm that there's no "spare" planet in- side — now that's the tough part. □ Editor's Note: And so begins a new year of stories about Vir- ginia's wildlife and wild places. Occasionally, you will find a postscript here— when space al- lows and as issues warrant. Climate change is one of those issues. It's an uncomfortable topic that we must somehow find a way to get com- fortable discussing. Here, the sentiments ex- pressed are mine alone. Your comments are wel- come at email@example.com. VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com Outdoor Catalc 2008 Limited Edition Virginia Wildlife Collector's Knife Our 2008 Collector's knife has once again been customized by Buck Knives. The knife features a red-tailed hawk engraving, augmented by a natural woodgrain handle and gold lettering. A distinctive, solid cherry box features birds of prey. Item # VW-408 $90.00 each (plus $7.25 S&H) 2007 Virginia Wildlife Collector's Knife Customized by Buck Knives, this classic model 1 10 folding knife is 8 1/2" long when fully opened and has a distinctive, natural woodgrain handle with gold lettering. Each knife is individually serial numbered and has a mirror pol- ished blade engraved with a fox. A solid cherry box engraved with foxes is in- cluded. ltem#VW-407 Fawn and Turtles Plush Collectibles $90.00 each (plus $7.25 S&H) From mountains to the coast, our plush collectibles will remind you of your favorite Virginia habitat. (Sizes range from 5" to 9" long) $9.95 each ltem#VW-519 Item #VW-518 White-tailed Fawn Sea Turtle Set (2) $9.95 each Hooks & Horns Video Game Match wits against the king of upland game birds, the spring gobbler, and test your hunt- ing skills with the magnificent white-tailed deer. ltem#VW-251 $14.95 each To Order visit the Department's Web site at: www.HuntFishVA.com or call (804) 367-2569. Please allow 3 to 4 weeks for delivery. Virginia Nongame Wildlife Program Nongame Tax Checkoff Fund Celebrate the 27th Anniversary of Virginia's Nongame Wildlife Program by helping to support essential research and management of Virginia's native birds, fish and other nongame animals. If you are due a tax refund from the Commonwealth of Virginia, you can contribute to the Virginia Nongame Wildlife Program by simply marking the appropriate place on this year's tax checkoff, on the Virginia State Income Tax Form. If you would like to make a cash do- nation directly to the Virginia Nongame Wildlife Program using a Visa or Mas- terCard, you can visit the Department's Web site or mail a check made out to: Virginia Nongame Program and mail it to Virginia Nongame Program, 4010 W. Broad St., Richmond, VA 23230-1104. For Virginia Wildlife subscription calls onlv 1-800-710-9369 Twelve issues for $12.95 All other calls to (804) 367-1000 Visit our Web Site at www.dgif.virginia.gov Virginia Wildlife Magazine The Gift That Will Be Enjoyed All Year Long For a limited time only you can give Virginia Wildlife as a gift to your family and friends for only $10.00 each. That's a savings of almost 80% off the regular cover price! This special offer expires January 3 1 , 2009. Simply include the full name and address of the person or persons to whom you would like to send a subscription. All orders must be prepaid with checks payable to Treasur- er of Virginia. Mail to Virginia Wildlife, PO. Box 111 04, Richmond, VA 23230-1 104. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Remember, a subscription to Virginia Wildlife makes a great gift that will be enjoyed all year long!